More Totally Cookbooks!


With summer rapidly approaching, there is cause to celebrate the delights of this warm, social season! Celestial Arts is pleased to introduce Totally Eggplant, Totally Picnic, Totally Pizza, and Totally Tomato, the latest set of die-cut cookbooks by Helene Siegel. Produced in this tremendously successful format, these books are still pocket-sized for handy reference at the store, in the kitchen, or in the garden, still ingredient-or occasion-specific, and still full of tantalizing, easy-to-prepare recipes that range from appetizers to main courses!


Totally Picnic

A quote from Craig Claiborne, gastronome extraordinaire, best sums it up: "I am a romantic by nature... And that's what picnics are all about." Siegel seems to agree, offering not only a vast array of delectable picnic nibbles, but also a host of delightful picnic concepts. The introduction reviews planning and packing techniques and lists tried-and-true pre-made picnic pleasers, while the chapters themselves focus on specific outings. Examples include Memorial Day at the Pond, Indian Summer, Backyard Breakfast, and On the Mediterranean Trail. Although recipes are coordinated by outing, you are always encouraged to mix and match around your own theme. Tasty examples include: Avocado and Goat Cheese Baguette, Marinated Green Beans with Toasted Almonds, Lemon Garlic Pasta, Mango Cinnamon Crisp, Swordfish Sandwiches with Olive Garlic Spread, and Strawberry Margaritas.

About the Author:
Helene Siegel has written most of the Totally Cookbook series. She is also the author of the Ethnic Kitchen Series (HarperCollins, 1992-1994) including Italian, Chinese, Mexican, and French Cooking for Beginners; and co-author of Mesa Mexicana (Morrow, 1994), City Cuisine (Morrow, 1990), and Ma Cuisine (Random House, 1988). She is a contributor to the Los Angeles Times, The Times Syndicate, Bon Appetit, and Food & Wine magazines and has appeared on numerous radio and television shows. She is a member of the Southern California Culinary Guild and International Association of Culinary Professionals. She resides in Los Angeles with her husband, two sons, and a well-fed dog.


Lemon Garlic Pasta

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound linguine or spaghetti, cooked and drained
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook garlic and red pepper flakes until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Pour over cooked pasta in bowl. Add remaining ingredients and toss well to coat. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.

Serves 4


Spiced Marinated Mushrooms

  • 1 pound white mushrooms, wiped clean, and stems trimmed
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Place mushrooms in sealable plastic or glass container.

Whisk together remaining ingredients in mixing bowl. Pour over mushrooms and toss to evenly coat. Seal and store in the refrigerator 1 to 5 days. Serve cold or room temperature.

Serves 6


Recipes from:
Totally Picnic
by Helene Siegel
Illustrated by Carolyn Vibbert
Celestial Arts
Publication date: May 15, 1996
$4.95, 96 pages
ISBN: 0-89087-785-8
Reprinted with permission

This page originally published as a FoodDay article in 1997.

Copyright © 2007, Forkmedia LLC. All rights reserved.

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This page modified January 2007

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